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Monday, October 29, 2012

No-sew draft snake : it's no. 3 and it was free!

So, I've been needing to make the 3rd and final draft snake this month (for the entry hall). But I've been more than reluctant. First of all, I want this to be no or low-cost, after all, I'm trying to save money with a draft snake. Why spend money to make this?! Second, my supplies of large scraps of fabric are dwindling, and I did not have something that I really wanted to use. And third, I'm just not in a sew and stuff "mood". And I wanted to make this in under 45 minutes, which I definitely did! Just over 30 minutes, once I found all my supplies.

If you are thinking you'd like to make a draft snake, but don't want to sew, this one fills the bill!  It's quick and easy, and so much more attractive than a rolled up towel! No one will ever guess that you didn't get your sewing machine out of the closet for this one!

Our entry hall has tan walls, white trim, oooogly yellow tile floor from the 70s (try to cover that up!), and a bit of dark wood. So that's my color scheme.

All of this really limited me.
  • "Free" meant that I had to choose from what I have here.
  • No fabric that I really wanted to use, meant that I'd do something with what I've got, with the idea that I could change this snake and salvage the fabric at some point, if wanted.
  • No-sew meant I'd be limited to hot glue, and fabric self-ties.
What I found. . .

this piece of tan and white checked wool
my pinking shears
hot glue
rubber bands
4 buttons from my mom's button box (that alone might make me really like this draft snake)
the last scraps of a comforter, and some dried beans and baggies

First step:
I measured the doorway and added 6 inches to each end. I folded the edges of the fabric in on each end, to achieve this length. I had thought I'd turn under the final long seam edge, that would be on the exterior of the snake, but underneath. I decided not to bother. If the fabric had been a thinner material, I might have turned under this edge and ironed a crease, so it would look more polished.

Second step:
Using pinking shears, I cut wide strips of fabric (some 2-inches wide, for the ends, and some 3-inches wide for the mid section) to use as self-ties on the ends and along the stuffed portion of the snake (to hold it all together, as well as be a decorative touch).

Third step:
I placed the comforter scraps (any batting or stuffing would also work), a couple of inches in from one side edge, all along the snake, leaving 5 inches per end unstuffed (for tying candy-roll style (think wrapped Tootsie Roll). 

I filled zippered baggies with dried beans, about 1/2 cup in each. I lined these filled baggies up next to the batting scraps, and added one more length of batting right on top of the baggies, to hold them in place. Then I began rolling the fabric up.

Fourth step:
At each end, I slipped a rubber band, to hold it while I tied the 2-inch wide strips. I tied the ends candy-roll style. 

Next, I added 4 more self-ties (cut to look like they were buttoned) all down the snake to hold it sealed and give it a finished look. I hot-glued these 4 self-ties closed, then hot-glued the buttons on top. They look like they're buttoned up!

Fifth step:
Sealing up the long seam along the bottom of the draft snake. When the hot-glue had set, I carefully rolled the snake over, and using the hot-glue gun, I "sealed" the long edge of fabric, that would be the seam on the underside, between the self-tied bands, with several short lines of hot glue.

Voila! One totally free, no-sew, fabric reusable, made in just over 30 minutes, draft snake!

Will the hot glue hold as well as a sewn draft snake? Probably not. But "repairing" with more hot glue is no problem. And I may just take a needle and thread to this some day, and hand stitch the seam with a running stitch, all down the length of the seam, if it seems like it will bother me. But for now, a super easy no-sew draft snake!

*update -- I've now used this snake for 4 winters, and it's still holding together as well as the day I made it! 

(See No. 1 draft snake                         and           draft snake no. 2).


  1. Replies
    1. Hi live and learn,
      Thank you. I thought they looked good with the fabric.

  2. This is my favorite of the three. Nice job adding detail with the buttons.
    But, how will you be able to reuse fabric that has hot glue on it? (I'm not a hot glue user so maybe I just don't know its properties)

    1. Hi frugal spinster,
      Thank you. I guess I should have said that the fabric was mostly reusable. The hot glue is only on a few parts -- the tabs that go around the snake (and only on the tabs, not on the snake there, they slide right off), and a thin line on the selvage edge, and about 8 inches in from edge (this is the "seam" on the underside). So if I want to sew something out of this, the majority of the fabric is hot-glue free. The bits where there is hot-glue, could be cut around. I'd say there's a piece about 2 yards by 40 inches with no glue whatsoever.

      But that's a good question. I deliberately had the selvage edge be the final "seam" edge, and not the folded over edge, so that I would have the largest reusable piece possible.

  3. Quick and easy. I like how you did that. Years and years ago I made one with loose beans in a towel that I then held closed with rubber bands. It was my first attempt at something crafty. It worked but wasn't all that pretty or durable to reuse for a few years the beans kept falling out when packed away.

    1. Hi Lois,
      Thank you. I just hope it holds together.

      With that draft snake you made years ago, you know, sometimes I don't think it matters if something is pretty or durable. But the fact that it worked for it's purpose, that's what was important at that time.

      For many years, our draft snake was a rolled up towel, that within hours of rolling it up nice and neat it would disintegrate into a heap on the floor (thanks to toddlers who thought it was enormous fun to follow me around the house, undoing everything I just did). But for when it worked, it worked very well, and that was what really mattered.


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